I’ve been using Linux for a long time. While it lost the battle for my desktop, it still reigns supreme in my server world. I have this very occasional habit of wanting to check if two files are really, honestly, undoubtedly the same.

I had that need again today.

I’ve always used md5sum on Linux. sudo port search md5sum was a bust. I Googled around. I figured I’d just have to find the package that contains md5sum and sudo port install [package]. No dice. Nothing promising for miles around, or at least through page 5 of the Google results.

Eventually I landed on Wikipedia’s md5sum page. Then a flood of vague memories hit me. Macs have a similar program, but it’s named md5 and its output formatting is slightly different (but the calculated hash is the same). It had been ages since I had discovered this, and I had totally forgotten.

So, instead of sudo port install md5sum, I’ve edited my ~/.bash_aliases file to contain this:

alias md5sum='man md5'

Maybe there really is a fabled md5sum for Mac, but this is good enough for me. This will remind the more frozen part of my brain that I really want to type md5 [filename] instead. And then I won’t go a-Googling for it any more. And perhaps, neither will you.

P.S. the md5 man page on my Mac shows it to be part of openssl, just in case you wondered.